This week, I reached out for a mashup of maybe the two funnest foods in America — the Frito Pie Burger. It's available for a limited time only at Fuddruckers, home of the self-dubbed "World's Greatest Hamburgers," with 200 restaurants around the world, including 10 around Houston.
Here's the Frito Pie Burger breakdown: a 100-percent beef patty, Cheddar cheese, a grabful of Fritos corn chips, chili, and cheese sauce on a freshly baked, pillowy bun.
The nutritional numbers are a little tricky because chain restaurants aren't required to post information for limited time only specials. But let's put 2-and-2 together and come up with numbers that will be pretty close.
A regular Fudds cheeseburger has 790 calories, 40 fat grams, 1863 mg. of sodium and 39 carbs. With all the extras, we can figure about 1,100 calories and 55 fat grams. That oughta hold ya. (At least until dinner.)
Fuddruckers burgers are the real deal, all right. They're grilled fresh to order, and unlike the drive-throughs, even Burger King, you actually can have it your way: rare, medium, well done, whatever. Nice touch.
The beef is always fresh, never frozen, and served hot. Fuddruckers' toppings bar looks like the produce aisle at a supermarket. Everything is bright and crisp. I like to pile on the pickles and ripe tomato slices. Turn around and there are cauldrons of melty cheese sauces and condiments.
Frito pie, if you're not from these here parts, is a pile of cheese on top of a pile of chili on top of a pile of corn chips. There's dispute whether this combo was created in Mexico or Texas, but who cares? With the new trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico ... never-ending Frito pies for everyone.
The Frito Pie Burger will appeal to kids and grownup snack addicts. It's meaty and gooey and crunchy, and the buns will remind you "Hey, Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is on tonight." Side dish suggestion: hand-breaded onion rings, the fresh flaky ones you can't find most places.
A little history. The first Fuddruckers opened in 1949 in San Antonio. Its original name was Freddy Fuddruckers, owned by Philip Romano, who later would create the Romano's Macaroni Grill concept. Fuddruckers is currently owned by Luby's and based in Houston.
Fuddruckers' Frito Pie Burger goes bye-bye on December 5.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.